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Ageing 2000—questions for the 21st century

Category: Journal Articles


HARPER, S. (2000). Ageing 2000—questions for the 21st century. Ageing and Society, 20(1), 111-122.

This statement (WHO 1998: 5), reflects the growing awareness among politicians, policy makers and the general public of issues which have been recognised by gerontologists for the past 30 years or so. In both developed and less developed countries, demographic transition and the shift in the age structure of the population is now being publicly recognised as having fundamental implications for everyone in society. As British gerontology enters a new century, the time appears ripe to reflect on past achievements and highlight some future questions. In the following discussion I consider ageing and later life, discussing both societal and individual ageing, and the experiences, needs and contributions of those in later life. The paper focuses on social gerontology, defined as social, behavioural, historical, demographic and economic aspects of the study of ageing and later life, including the interface of these with health and health services. It thus touches upon medical and biological aspects only when they are of appropriate relevance.